Word of the Month

Building - completing

January 2002

Building and completing are only possible in times of peace. Destruction and devastation are the order of the day in the course of a war, and all efforts are directed either toward assault or defence. In times of peace, by contrast, well-being and prosperity thrive, culture and the sciences can develop. For this reason it was of great significance for the psalmist David to recognize: "The Lord will bless his people with peace." (c.f. Psalm 29:11)

Building and completing - these are two concepts that seem to be the same at first glance, and yet have different meanings. When a house comes into being the first thing that takes place is the building: stone upon stone, and finally the roof. Only then can one truly begin to complete it: only then can the wiring and plumbing be installed, the rooms be plastered and wallpapered, and finally the curtains hung on the windows, and the rooms outfitted with furniture. If the building and completing are carried out sensibly, a well-built, harmonious dwelling is the result.

This image can be transferred into the work of God. If the Lord grants his people peace and we preserve it - in our hearts, in the congregations, in the districts - then building and completing can take place in God's work. What does this mean? That there is still a need for outward growth. Each individual is called upon to testify of the glad tidings of Jesus - the gospel - first of all through his conduct, through friendliness and kindness, but also through the joyful profession of faith.

It is also necessary to complete, however. Every single one of God's people must grow inwardly so that the virtues of Christ become ever more apparent. It is necessary to summon up more carrying capacity in the battle of faith and life, to remain in the pure love, to be willing to reconcile, and to help along in the congregation so that the fellowship of God's children may be reinforced. Let us therefore approach and treat our Brother and Sister in a friendly and respectful manner; let us help them out and pray for them should they find themselves in spiritual need!

"The Lord will bless His people with peace." Well-being thrives in times of peace. In the natural this includes food, clothing and shelter. And how is it with spiritual well-being? In each divine service the Lord grants food for the soul, the water of life as well as garments of salvation, and the community of God's children is covered by the "roof" of grace. Let us be glad and thankful that the Lord has provided all prerequisites for building and completing, and let us help along actively so that the work may soon be done!

(Excerpt from a divine service of the Chief Apostle)